When you think about your annual physical exam, you may be worried that your doctor is going to criticize your choices (like eating too much steak and not enough salad), deliver disappointing news, or find something frightening. Those are the kinds of concerns that prevent people from reaching out to their physician for help. But feeling judged, disheartened, or afraid isn’t just for patients. It may be how your colleagues, clients or direct reports feel if you’re not thoughtful about the words you use.
Author Yehuda Berg wrote, “Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Doctors know that their words can be a part of the healing process – or deepen the hurting. And leaders in every industry need to recognize this as well.